When you think of trade shows, your mind may immediately wander to information, education or free samples.

However, more and more trade shows are now emphasizing the all-important category of networking. After all, connecting with one’s peers can be a vital part of being successful in business.

One CSG client, for instance, added meet-up zones complete with comfortable lounge sofas and tables to encourage attendees to sit and mingle with one another.

For those who are on the more introverted side and are not comfortable approaching strangers in a public forum, many shows now offer small round tables that can provide intimacy in large settings. Often these roundtables have predetermined activities or topics for discussion that help to facilitate and guide the conversation. Introverts may find that working on an assigned task provides easier flow of conversation.

In today’s digital-focused world, the simple act of using a designated conference hashtag or checking-in at the conference location can open up an entire new network of people. Users are able to pinpoint your exact location!

Finally, remember to keep in mind the good-old fashioned basics when it comes to networking; have an approachable attitude, arrive early, leave late and smile.

Happy networking!